Cooper says his recovery is slow one

May 01, 1991|By Sandra McKee | Sandra McKee,Evening Sun Staff

Blast coach Kenny Cooper says he hopes to be home from the hospital sometime this weekend.

"I'm getting there," he said last evening, when asked if he was feeling better. "It's a slow process, but I'm being well cared for."

Cooper took ill suddenly last Friday and was admitted to the hospital by Blast team physician Dr. Larry Gallagher. He has been diagnosed as having Diverticulitis (inflammation of the colon) and is now under the care of specialists Drs. Alvaro Jerez and Dave Hutcheon. Cooper said he will continue to undergo tests this week and a decision concerning the need for future surgery will be made after all test results have been studied.

The Blast coach is taking the situation in stride.

"You know the way I am," he said. "I don't get panicked over situations like this. A lot of people get it and they get along fine. The way I look at it is this is just a little obstacle along the way.

"I feel more for my wife [Irene]. She's been a trooper. She's been the coach in all this, making decisions and handling four kids," Cooper said.

Cooper, 45, said his doctors have made him aware that he will have to make some changes in his routine.

"Basically, what they're suggesting is that I take some time to smell the roses," Cooper said. "It's not always healthy to be consumed by what you do and for me my whole life is my family and the Blast."

He admitted that he has felt symptoms of trouble, but has simply worked through them.

"The doctors have made it clear, when I feel those signs, that's when I should back up a little bit and take it a little easy. They've asked that I simply be more aware. And I will be."

The last time Cooper suffered similar distress was during the 1983-84 championship series. He noted, that while he works out regularly and watches what he eats, the hectic schedule and the odd eating hours, then and now, contribute to the problem.

"What I have is a disease," said Cooper, who added he plans to take some time off this summer to rest up. "But it is not a setback. I plan to turn it into a positive. Being in the hospital, you know, gives you time to think."

But not necessarily about his health.

"I've had a lot of time to think about the team, the season, and what direction we should be going," he said. "It's been kind of a working, semi-vacation -- something like that."

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